Sydney and Geneva: Don't expect any break-throughs

Two seemingly important events in trade negotiations take place this week: an APEC summit and the resumption of Doha talks.

The FT says the Bush administration “will seek to breathe fresh life” into the Doha agenda, but their only evidence for that effort is an administration statement that it “is prepared to make the tough choices if others are likewise prepared to make those tough choices to create new trade flows.” That just means nothing new is happening.

The deputy US national security advisor for economic affairs also said that the US will push the creation of a Pacific region PTA – the so-called FTAAP – but that won’t happen. Given Congressional sentiments, how could Bush ever push a big trade deal that included China?

This week will be merely continue what the Bush administration has been doing for a few years on trade – lots of talk, little action.